GREECE: on behalf of the EU, said that governments must develop macro-economic strategies at both the national and international levels to open markets and facilitate debt relief. The EU has decided that debt relief will be one of its main priorities in development aid. The other priority areas include: the provision of basic services such as education, water, health care, housing; improving the employment of the poor; encouraging self-help activities for the urban and rural poor; fundamental democratic rights; social protection of the poor; maintenance of self-help systems; full integration of women in the fight against poverty; and protection of fragile ecosystems.
URUGUAY: said that the needs of the lowest income groups must be identified to ensure that the benefits of social policy reach them.
SWITZERLAND: called for addressing problems of: access to land; access to credit; deprivation of political legal rights and the consequences of structural adjustment.
DENMARK: said that it was important to attack the roots of poverty, and not just the symptoms. This involves addressing the problems of land reform and illiteracy. He said that it is not possible to fight poverty without eradicating illiteracy.
EL SALVADOR: noted that the different degrees of poverty throughout the developing world must be addressed. She also referred to the social consequences of war and structural adjustment policies, which appear to increase poverty. She suggested that economic adjustment should ensure social adjustment policies as well.
AUSTRALIA: suggested addressing: land reform; education; provision of basic health services and access to family planning; availability of housing; fair access to income-earning opportunities, especially access to credit; issues of family and children, especially the feminization of poverty; and the central importance of setting of targets with indicators to measure progress.
ALGERIA: on behalf of the G-77 and China, said that the objective of the WSSD should be poverty elimination rather than poverty alleviation.
SWEDEN: said that integrating women into the mainstream is no longer adequate. What is needed is a transformation of the mainstream.
INDIA: called for eradication of poverty by the end of the century. More reference should be made to measures involving the poor and a development strategy for reaching the goal of poverty eradication. The elements of such a strategy would involve: food security systems; labor intensive industries; strengthening rural agriculturalization; and minimum living standards.
BRAZIL: reinforced the importance of education in combatting poverty. He agreed with Denmark in calling for attention to the roots of poverty and not just the symptoms.
PHILIPPINES: said that poverty eradication depends on education and training, as well as land reform and the elimination of external debt. There can be no true agenda for peace unless poverty is eradicated.
TURKEY: said the special situation of developing countries, and the feminization of poverty, as well as the difficult situation of the elderly poor, and the provision of affordable housing must be mentioned.
CHILE: called for better integration between UN agencies to ensure the integration of social and economic policies. He also referred to the problem of the feminization of poverty and urged for concrete measures such as the Women's Bank and specific initiatives for child care.
THE HOLY SEE: said that governments must find appropriate ethics for economic and social transition. Existing safety nets and UN economic measures are inadequate. The misuse of funds must be addressed.
COTE D'IVOIRE: suggested the following points to be addressed: alleviation of poverty requires food security and access to land for rural populations as well as access to health and housing; small enterprises should be encouraged with access to credit; primary health services and education should be available to rural and urban marginalized groups; an enabling economic environment must be provided with financial and development institutions increasing support to countries offering expanded employment, and debt forgiveness.
CANADA: emphasized the key factors that could provide a framework for action: political will; legislative and policy direction to achieve WSSD objectives; institutional capacity to implement WSSD policies at all levels; and practical capacity-building measures.
US: said that it is the responsibility of national governments to develop economic and social strategies to: enable individual access to education, and solve land tenure and title issues, as well as gender problems. Strategies to eliminate poverty must identify policy and programmes to foster self-sufficiency and independence.
INDONESIA: said that governments must provide the proper infrastructures to enable the poor to improve their own socio-economic conditions.
AUSTRIA: proposed that every State should endeavor to improve the social situation of the poorest of the poor and to report periodically to ECOSOC on national activities.
NORWAY: said that poverty must be fought through wealth creation and redistribution. This includes access to land and credit. To fight poverty, society must also strengthen investment in people, especially women, their health, education, and access to credit and land. The 1 billion people now living in poverty is a result of the lack of political will among Northern governments to redress this problem.
MALAYSIA: proposed that interest-free loans should be provided for the hard-core poor.
PAKISTAN: affirmed the G-77 position that the aim of the WSSD should be poverty eradication and not just alleviation.
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